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February 21, 2010
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April 10, 2010
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Dog Thieves, Nappers and Bunchers

BEWARE! Be on your toes and always keep your dog(s) close and in your sight! We all know that’s not anything real new of course, dog thieves have always been around. But there are very recent news resports of dog thieves, snatchers, dog nappers and bunchers that have recently made the news. They’re always there, of course, but it sure doesn’t hurt to remind you folks out there of the fact that you should always be aware that YOUR dog could be the next target.

I didn’t know what a “buncher” was other than the fact that it couldn’t possibly be a good thing since it was being reported along with dog napping reports. So, I did a little checking. According to a post on dog thieves from the Pedigree Database the description of a “buncher” is:

“Bunchers are individuals or groups who will buy entire litters of puppies, steal dogs, barter or otherwise get them, and then either trade them to brokers or other individuals for profit, or to anywhere they can, such as fighting rings, research laboratories, other brokers or anyone who buys bulk animals for less than stellar purposes.

I always thought that defined a dog napper, but of course any phrase that describes these despicable people is fine with me. I don’t really care what you call them, I’m just happy to hear that law enforcement agencies are doing something about it. You can stand up and cheer for the law enforcement agencies that have been cracking down on dog thieves! Here’s a few articles of some recent activity:

Police Bust Major Metro Theft Ring which begins by telling folks that “Police in Kansas City, Missouri, say that a major theft ring that stretches all the way from Kansas City to Henry County was busted on Thursday afternoon.” The thieves didn’t stop at personal property …

A Sacramento, CA news report tells of how Manuel Perez was arrested in a sting operation before he could make his threat to murder the Pomeranian he’d stolen if his ransom demand wasn’t met come true.

Channel 11 KTVA television in the New York area reported in February about how Sugar the French Bulldog went missing from the dog park only to find out that Sugar did not just wander off …

All of these stories above, are only from February and March of this year and definitely don’t include every incident reported. These are just the first few reports I found. It’s frightening to know that I could have Googled for hours and never found them all.

This is a video from 2008 about a darling two month old Pomeranian puppy suffering from a respiratory illness was stolen by a teen age girl and her male accomplice from a Rio Rancho Petland pet store. The video and accompanying story explain that without it’s medicine, that sweet little puppy could die.

Until I read this article called “Canine Theft” from Susan at the Care2 web site, I absolutely, very arrogantly and VERY stupidly thought “Not a crook in the world would ever get my Riley!” Of course that would include Nissa because he would protect her like she was his own child. This was enough to wake me up real quick! Many thanks for posting this, Susan! Once you read this, you should realize real quick that no dog is safe from anyone who really wants them. Considering how paranoid I am about things like someone stealing my car or breaking into my house, I can’t believe I was soooooooo dumb to think that my own dogs were safe! I would rather have burglars take every possession I own, beat me to within an inch of my life and burn my house to the ground to hide any evidence than to steal my FurKids!

So folks, take precautions, never think your dog is immune to being stolen. Judging from these stories, no one’s dog is safe.


  1. Claudette McCormack says:


    Thanks for your response. I did call my phone company, & was told there was no way the call could be traced. I called the cops, told them the story, but I had to explain to them what a buncher was. (it’s not even on their radar).
    And yes, you can be sure, if I ever see anything like this again, I will not let the dog go unless it is a bona fide rescue organization. I feel so ignorant in just letting this person get away, but people need to know how slick these operators are. I really feel that this issue should be given lots more attention. Perhaps there are some kind persons who will read these and are better at finding and getting out the word in proper social networking sites. I did some more reading on where these dogs end up and it is truly horrific; there was a man in Arkansas who was making v. large sums of money supplying stray dogs, stolen dogs, etc., to labs. The dogs were kept in horrific conditions, then butchered (& not humanely) to supply canine hearts to pharmaceutical companies testing meds. for heart worms. There are so many powerful influential people behind this business, and it appears to be huge. Anyway, thanks to Rileys Place for posting my initial comment and to you again for your kind words and suggestions.

    • Mom says:

      Claudette, there are sooooooooo many horrifying things that happen to innocent loving dogs, this being just one. My heart breaks for these loving souls who have no choice in what happens to them.

  2. Claudette McCormack says:

    3 weeks ago I came upon a dog lying in the middle of the street. I had just left a patients home (I am a home care nurse) I went over to the dog and he was scared at first, but then let me pet him. A few secs. later this woman drove up in an SUV claiming to be with a rescue organization. She produced a leash and a crate. I feel horrible because I helped catch the dog, who was skinny, full of fleas and trusted me. (he kept running/walking away from the woman.) I begged her to call me w/news of the dog, (she’d promised to take him to a vet) About a week later, she left a message on my cell stating “Hi this is the lady who helped w/ the dog. he has been to the vet and has been adopted into a nice home.” The number was restricted, she didn’t leave a name, and there is no way that this poor, skinny, flea ridden dog could have been adopted already. I know this sounds like I am too sensitive, but I am ridden with guilt, crying, and thinking he is probably in a lab somewhere. Is there any way this witch can be traced somehow? : (

    • Mom says:

      Hi Claudette,

      Wow, I sure hope all is ok with this poor dog. This woman could very well be exactly what she portrayed herself to be and could have found the dog a home with people who are familiar with whatever medical conditions the dog had and so the dog may just be getting the care it needs but of course we don’t know for sure. I don’t think you’re being over-sensitive one bit, I would probably be feeling the same way.

      The number being restricted isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have my number restricted as well and that’s because of all the telemarketers out there. As for tracing her, wow that would be really difficult if not impossible. If you for some reason happened to get her license plate you could start with your state’s Dept of Transportation but I would imagine at the time you encountered her you weren’t thinking of obtaining her plate. You could check with your local police department and see if they have any similar reports, perhaps they already have an ongoing investigation.

      You could also check with your local animal shelters and rescues and maybe even newspapers. There may be a news story on this woman and/or those associated with her. Someone local might recognize her by a vehicle description and description of her. That’s about all I can think of.

      I know in the future you will do things differently and again, I might have done the same thing as you and learned my lesson the same as you by being overcome with guilt and horrid thoughts. We all do things that later on we regret and learn to never do again in the future if confronted with the same scenario.

      Let us know if you find anything out?

  3. Craig Smith says:

    Our dog was taken and I am looking for information on bunchers and dog farms/mills in SE Iowa and NE Missouri. If you have any please email me. I will hold any information with the utmost confidence.


    • Mom says:

      Hello Craig,

      I’m so sorry your dog was stolen, how horrible that must be! I hope you have reported this to your law enforcement agency.

      I’m sorry I can’t give you any information on specific areas. You might check with local animal shelters, rescues and reputable breeders in your area. They may be able to help you.

      We sure hope you find your dog!


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